London: Rome and Milan have temporarily banned cars from their roads in a bid to battle air pollution. Smog levels in the Italian cities have exceeded healthy levels for more than 30 consecutive days, prompting local politicians to enforce the drastic measures.
The three day long emergency intervention began on Monday and is due to continue until tomorrow. Milan has banned cars from taking to the roads between 10 am and 4pm during this period.
The ban applies to cars, motorcycles and scooters. Motorists have been warned that anyone who breaches the ban will face heavy fines. The city is also offering reduced travel rates on public transport, which will permit unlimited travel for $1.5 per day; the price of a standard single ticket.
In Rome, officials are enforcing a policy whereby cars with odd or even numbers on licence plates are banned on alternate days during the three day period. Earlier, many cities have resorted to this practise, latest entrant being Delhi.
The historic city of Florence has also announced it is restricting access to the city centre for those travelling by car, moped or motorbike.Italy has persistently suffered from air quality issues in recent years.
In 2012, the European Environment Agency found that the country had the most pollution-related deaths in Europe.
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